Critical support available for Michigan restaurants, bars through Federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund
LANSING – Governor Gretchen Whitmer today encouraged restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments across Michigan hard hit by COVID-19 to apply for $28.6 billion in federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund direct relief being provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration under the American Rescue Plan.
“Restaurant owners and other food establishments have made incredible sacrifices over the past year to keep their communities safe and slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “This vital relief will help ensure they can keep their doors open and continue to serve their communities while also ensuring their workers can stay employed entering the critical summer season.”
Registration for the funding will begin on Friday, Apr. 30 at 9 a.m. EDT with the application itself opening on Monday, May 3, at noon EDT.
“This is critical relief to some of our hardest hit small businesses. Funds are limited, so I encourage eligible businesses apply as soon as the application window opens to ensure they get the support they need,” said Brian Calley, President of the Small Business Association of Michigan.
For the first 21 days that the program is open, the SBA will prioritize funding applications from businesses owned and controlled by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. All eligible applicants are encouraged to submit applications as soon as the portal opens. Following the 21 days, all eligible applications will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis with the online application remaining open to any eligible establishment until all funds are exhausted.
“The Restaurant Revitalization Fund is a great program to help our restaurant and hospitality industry, which has suffered tremendous losses during COVID,” added Stephan Currie, Executive Director, Michigan Association of Counties. “This opportunity will help revitalize our communities, while ensuring licensing revenues that our counties and health departments rely on to protect our residents are not depleted, unless county elected leaders determine their budgets can sustain it.”
Eligible businesses include restaurants; food stands, food trucks, food carts; caterers; bars, saloons, lounges, taverns; brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms; breweries, wineries and distilleries; and bakeries. The minimum funding awarded will be $1,000 with businesses that remain open eligible to receive funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location.
“As part of our state’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, these grant dollars will provide a financial lifeline to our dining and hospitality-based businesses,” said MDARD Director Gary McDowell. “These businesses are an integral part of our communities, helping to ensure food safety and protect public health while offering incredible guest experiences. They deserve our support, and I encourage them to take advantage of this opportunity, not only for the future of their businesses, but also for their employees, their customers, and their communities.”
The fund includes $9.5 billion in set-asides specifically for smaller businesses: $5 billion for applicants with 2019 gross receipts of not more than $500,000; $4 billion is set aside for applicants with 2019 gross receipts from $500,001 to $1,500,000; and $500 million for applicants with 2019 gross receipts not more than $50,000. Recipients would not be required to repay the funding if the funds are used for eligible expenses no later than March 11, 2023.
“We have remained committed to supporting Michigan small businesses because they are core to ensuring we have vibrant communities and a robust economic recovery here in the state,” said Josh Hundt, Chief Business Development Officer and Executive Vice President at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “The Restaurant Revitalization Fund is great news for our restaurants, bars and similar establishments who are continuing to struggle from the economic impacts of COVID-19 and builds on the nearly $240 million in COVID-19 relief we have deployed to small businesses since last year.”
Other resources for economic reopening efforts as well as businesses across Michigan struggling with economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 virus can be found online at michiganbusiness.org/covid19. To learn more about MEDC’s COVID-19 response programs and the impact they are having on economic recovery efforts, visit michiganbusiness.org/covid19response.
“The Restaurant Revitalization Fund will be very helpful to local breweries as well as countless retail establishments that support our industry, many of whom have been struggling to survive,” said Scott Graham, executive director of the Michigan Brewers Guild. “I encourage all of our eligible members to get prepared now and to apply for RRF grants when the process opens May 3.”
“We deeply appreciate the sacrifices restaurant and bar owners have made as part of their commitment to help keep Michiganders safe throughout this pandemic,” said Norm Hess, executive director, Michigan Association for Local Public Health. “Many of them have taken a big hit financially and we are pleased the Restaurant Revitalization Fund can provide them much needed support to keep their businesses going during this difficult time.”